Boo-tiful binge-watches: your guide to horror TV shows this Halloween

A definitive rating of Halloween classics, from Trick to Treat

Ellie McVay
27th October 2021
Credit: IMDb
Are you sitting uncomfortably? Well, for goodness sake get a cushion or something, and settle down for the ultimate list of the spookiest of spiels, the most petrifying of programmes… We’re ranking TV shows from Trick (less spooky, but still a good watch) to Treat (get out your toffee apple and jack o’lantern, you’re in for a Hallowe’en spook
Ash vs Evil Dead

Let’s start things off with a classic – well – a spinoff to a classic. Sam M. Raimi’s Ash vs Evil Dead series brings back the favourite hunky 80s hero we all know and love, Ash, a role reprised by Bruce Campbell. Back in the day, the original film, The Evil Dead (1981) was X-Rated in the UK as a ‘Video Nasty’. It’s a spooky, chainsaw-swinging laugh riot that’ll give you a classic case of the thrills, but won’t rattle your ribcage *too* much.

Rating: A whole lot of trick, but a good bit of treat

Ash vs Evil Dead - Official Trailer (2016)


Another classic retelling moment here at number two, with Bryan Fuller’s aesthetically gorgeous re-imagining of Thomas Harris’ enigmatic cannibal, Dr Hannibal Lecter. It’s brutal, grotesque and utterly stomach-churning… and yet… sometimes oddly appetising? Maybe it’s Mads Mikkelsen cooking dinner in a very nice shirt? It’s probably just good prop design, but this show is as beautiful as it is skin-crawling. 

Rating: A very *ahem* tasty treat (I’m sorry…)

Hannibal - Season 1 Official Trailer (2013)

Inside No. 9

Welcome Inside No.9 where the comedy is horrible and the horror is hilarious. Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s half-hour anthology series delves into so many genres, the episodes deserve a list of their own. Looking for a psychological slasher-esque 30 minutes? 'Private View' might be the one for you. Try 'The Harrowing' for some paranormal terror, or 'The Riddle of The Sphinx' for a thriller that’s a tough bite to swallow. In 2018, Inside No. 9 went live at Hallowe’en, but a few technical hiccups meant the night was anything but smooth sailing… it’ll never be quite the same experience as watching it live, but it’s a wonderfully crafted bit of spookiness.

Rating: Equally *high* measures of trick and treat

Inside No. 9 - Series 6 Trailer, BBC Trailers


Clearly, spin-offs make for some truly electrifying telly. Sarah Paulson – what more can I say? - as the unforgiving Nurse Ratched, is an explosive force of knife-sharp politeness, super-villain dress sense, and meticulous, manipulative power. It’s camp, it’s bold, it’s edge-of-your-seat uncomfortable (told you you’d need that cushion), and a truly terrific mix of trick and treat.

Rating: What a treat!

Ratched - Official Trailer (2020)

The Haunting of Hill House

Where to begin? Well, this horrifying haunted house flick finds its perils in the past, beginning with one tragic night in 1992, and following the characters as they’ve grown and pondered their haunting experiences. It’s wonderfully gothic, and unsettlingly real as much as it is paranormal, taking place in a house which seems to live and breathe fear. Prepare for a chilling, thrilling watch – you might not want to open your eyes for this one…

Rating: A ghostly Hallowe’en treat for anyone who doesn’t mind not sleeping at night

The Haunting of Hill House - Offical Trailer (2018)

So, we’ve pulled back the curtain and revealed some of my favourite TV terrors this Hallowe’en. Honourable mentions go to American Horror Story, Stranger Things, and Squid Game for those thrill-seekers among you just itching for more. For now, though, keep that night light on, fetch a monster-deterring blanket, and as my personal favourite horror TV icon Yvette Fielding would say, ‘sleep tight’...

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